January trial for man charged in Tripp County on suspicion of rape of minor

Oct. 25—WINNER, S.D. — A five-day trial is set to begin Jan. 8, in Tripp County, for a man facing up to 50 years in prison after allegations in April that he raped a minor.

Myron Leland Songer Jr., 36, has pleaded not guilty to all charges levied against him. The most severe of which is a charge of second-degree rape with the use of force, coercion or threats — a Class 1 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Songer is also facing a charge of fourth-degree rape of a victim over 13 but less than 16, as well as a charge for sexual contact with a child under 16 — both Class 3 felonies that each carry a maximum sentence up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

Court documents allege that on April 3, Songer "sexually penetrate[d] a person through the use of force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily harm."

Included in the bevy of charges, Songer also faces a habitual offender charge of 1 or 2 prior felonies.

Court documents indicate that Songer has a prior history of violence. In 2006, he was convicted of third-degree rape of a minor in Gregory County, for which he then served 10 years in the state penitentiary until his release in November 2022. He has also faced multiple other charges alleging physical and emotional violence.

Songer has also had two protection orders placed on him, in 2014 and 2022. The 2014 protection order was requested by the victim of the 2006 crime for which he was imprisoned, who cited fear of retribution, according to court records. Court records also show that the 2022 protection order was obtained by a partner, who cited physical harm done to her by Songer.

He is currently listed as living in Sioux Falls.

Court documents indicate a pattern of rapid-fire relocation over the last two years by Songer, who is a

registered sex offender

in the state of South Dakota. There are four active additional charges against him in four South Dakota counties — each for failing to register a change of address as a sex offender — that have all been filed since the start of 2022. Charges for failing to register a change of address have been recorded in Tripp, Minnehaha, Brown, and Codington counties.

By South Dakota law, sex offenders must register with the state sex offender database within a three-day period of moving to work or live in a county at risk of facing a felony charge. Notably, the Tripp County charge took place on April 3, the same date and county as the alleged rape.